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Old 04-12-2013, 13:59   #1
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Have I shortened my batteries life?

I have a 1year old battery bank for the house/ two Excide 6 volt golf cart batteries. The boats Charles charger runs full time and I finally checked the batts fluid levels for the first time the other day and found out that they were very low on water, so I ran off to get a gallon of distilled water and topped them both off, a guess is both batts were 50% low for god knows how long. My question is have I significantly shortened the batteries life by allowing this to happen?
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:08   #2
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

were the plates showing?
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:19   #3
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

Very much so, the location of the batteries makes it very difficult to see from the top but judging by the amount of water I had to add to each battery .25 gallons each I would say for sure.
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:27   #4
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

If the plates were showing, they can no longer be trusted. Bare plates are when they can go into three mile island syndrome.
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:48   #5
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

I check the battereis every month as once the plates are showing the battery is done.

So after fulling charging what was the voilt reading after letting it set for 30 minutes? 100% is 13.2 volts. 50% is 12.4 volts under 12.0 its dead. Do not discharge a battery below 50% or 12.4 volts as that will also shorten the life.
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:53   #6
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

Systems appear to be running fine, figured I would shut off charger and all loads to the batts and she how they are holding charge with the tester?
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:54   #7
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

It's 3 years since I discovered my Powerstride batteries in the same state, and they are going strong. They are a total of 5 years old, now.

So the answer to your original question is a definite maybe.

I test them regularly by discharging them to 50%, and seeing how many Ah I get (rate is about 35A so they are at 50% after about 2 hours) There has been no change over the 3 years, and the capacity is still the rated one.

I'm not proposing running the plates dry as an advisable procedure, merely that you might have got away with it.
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Old 04-12-2013, 15:09   #8
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

I think you will know soon if they were damaged. If not now then they may last fine.
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Old 04-12-2013, 15:55   #9
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

Plan is to install the battery self watering system.
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Old 04-12-2013, 16:03   #10
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rw58ph View Post
So after fulling charging what was the voilt reading after letting it set for 30 minutes? 100% is 13.2 volts. 50% is 12.4 volts under 12.0 its dead. Do not discharge a battery below 50% or 12.4 volts as that will also shorten the life.
full charge is 12.73 volts, according to trojan. i've also seen 12.65 volts quoted by interstate. here's a handy chart from trojan -

Trojan Battery Company

trojan states the battery should be idle for at least 6 hours before taking a reading. i've read other 'authorities' quote 30 minutes....
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Old 04-12-2013, 16:29   #11
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

Does your charger equalize the batteries on a regular schedule? I am surprised the water was so low after one year. Could you have a regulator problem, overcharging? We have not had to add water to our batteries for two years.
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Old 04-12-2013, 16:40   #12
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

No equalization feature with this unit.
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Old 04-12-2013, 18:15   #13
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

In my case, electrolyte consumption dropped a lot when I installed the temperature sensor for the Xantrex charger. I suspect that the default temperature setting resulted in overcharging in our hot climate.

Another culprit could be the alternator.

I now make a point of motoring on the starting battery, so at least I can top off one battery instead of two, regularly. (starting battery is easier to reach, too.)
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Old 04-12-2013, 18:21   #14
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

I ruined some expensive batteries in the past leaving them on an unattended trickle charger.

If your's survived....you are very lucky
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:25   #15
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Re: Have I shortened my batteries life?

My experience is that letting the electrolyte get below the plates results in sulfation, so the batteries will not take much of a charge. You can try discharging the battery by turning on all the incandescent bulbs in and on the sailboat. Look up the types of bulbs on the internet to see what the draws is for amps. Add these up and divide into the amp-hours for the batteries. If you do not know what the numbers are, figure 225 amp-hours for the golf cart batteries and one amp per bulb. Say you have 12 bulbs, and then the batteries should last nineteen hours. Most likely your batteries will not last an hour, so it’s buy some new ones.
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